I have a comment for Bob Bowman. Nowhere in the law does it provide an accounting of how many records a citizen may request. So if the mayor
expects that he will be refusing anyone because of their number of requests, may I remind you BOTH that Mr. Mayor is already guilty of official
oppression (among many other things). Look that up in your law book Bob Bowman.

As for "stubborn, obstinate and cannot read- those are Arp qualities and if he stopped acting like an idiot and tried treating people with respect, just
maybe they might not be stubborn.

Also know that personally, it is my opinion that you give lousy advice that comes real close to making you an accomplice in breaking the law. Loudon
County sure did not get their money's worth paying your bill.

Wouldn't you like to know in LC 4/28/07

Concerning the political contributions of LOUDON COUNTY mayor Arp or is it KNOX COUNTY scratch my back I will scratch yours.  Just what Loudon County citizens is he looking out for or which Knoxville citizens is he taking care of.  If he is in need of contributions from outside the county then maybe he should move outside of the county.  It is time for LOUDON COUNTY MAYOR ARP, to start listening to the citizens and stop his foolish dictatorship. 

Joanne G.

In response to the accusation of child abuse against the Loudon County woman:
The comments on this blog have both astounded and amazed me.  Have we, the human race, regressed to the point that when someone has been
accused of something we’re ready to get out the nooses and find the nearest tree?
I’ve read the same articles, watched the same television news reports, and have yet found grounds to condemn this woman to the charges
she’s been accused of.  In not one of these reports have I come across a detailed account of the case and yet so many have decided she is
guilty.  There are two sides to every story and I’ve only heard one.  What I have found, reported by the paper, is that there are people, despite
what’s being said, who trust her with their children.  Sort of makes you think, hmm?
A question has been raised on this very blog about the lack of attention this has gotten because this woman happens to be married to a police officer when another officer’s wife was hounded for a mistake (yes mistake, being human makes us all prone to those) that she made.  Do you think either of these women are the only people who’ve been accused of such crimes?  Do you recall seeing every single one of them splashed
across the news?  Would you really call that lack of attention?
So the lynch mob has been released.  It is made up of Surmises and Conjectures.  And Rumor holds the noose.  “Innocent until proven
guilty?”  Has everyone heard of that?  How about this one,

“Judge not, that ye be not judged?” 4/27/07

I have a couple of things that bug the heck out of me.
  • Why does the Loudon Complex fields sit dormant most of the time?  the City has alot of money in this facility and it is hardly used for tournaments. could it be because the fields cost $800.00 for a weekend of use. and you can not do concessions unless a vendor comes in and if that happens each vendor pays the city parks and rec $50.00  or if the onsite concessions is used the P and R dept gets total control of it. this does not leave much for someone to hold a tournament for a charity unless the charity is the Loudon parks and Rec. Now I will say that they do allow you to keep any gate takes UNLESS you have a tournament of 20 or more teams and if this ocurrs then the Loudon Parks and Rec Dept reserves the right to charge $1.00 per head that comes thru the gate. Is Mark Harell the cause behind this. What are his qualifications for the job. Is he the reason out little league baseball seems to be falling off compared to other clubs? I don't know ... I am just asking Why is it that the softball leagues seem to be sub par. I am so fed up with people in the town/county being given jobs with no clue as how to do them. I am not saying this is the case, I am just asking. do we have the right people in our parks and rec dept for the city of Loudon. 
  • Why do we allow a Chaplin who lives in Morgan County to drive a county unmarked patrol car home every day and drive it for personal use with Loudon County citizens footing the bill for her fuel and the cost of maintainance on the car. I have no problem with this person using that vehicle while on duty in this county but driving her own car to and from work. somone please give me some insight why this should be acceptable.
Loudon Please Step Up 4/26/07

I just read the Mike Ross article and say it is about time someone started addressing issues concerning development. It is a known fact that Russ
Newman is not doing his job. I thought that these issues were supposed to be addressed by PLANNING- is that not his job? I do not think SPECIAL FAVORS are included in the job description, or we would have to give him a bonus.

I'm writing the state to thank them and ask if they can send someone to
address the flooding and road situations next.

JoAnne 4/25/07

I just wanted you to know that I think the Rivero quote on your front page is right on the money and could not have been better said. Any chance this
guy ever lived in Loudon County?

JoAnne Turner 4/23/07

Boy people sure want to get on here and voice over and over again that it's not in the paper about the Loudon County cops wife blah blah blah.  Why don't you pick up a paper and read before you complain.  Post were made on here on the 18th and 19th.  Well it was in the paper long before that if you would pick up a News Sentinel on the 16th and looked you would have saw it.  Not to mention it was in the News Herald a day or so later and it was on the News on TV.  And as for the concerned parent's comment of you will eventually get yours.  Have you not ever heard of innocent until proven guilty your opinion doesn't mean anything.  It's just that an opinion everyone has one and not everyone is as quick as you to say something negative about someone like that.  I was always taught if you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all.  I am sure her family doesn't want you to feel sorrow for them when you go around making comments like that in the same conversation.
If you can't say nothin nice don't say nothin at all
Treat others the way you would want to be treated 4/23/07

With the reversal in the decision to charge Tony Aikens with extortion will there also be some action taken in the Billy Hall case?  The trial ended in a hung jury and then it just went away, what's wrong with this picture?  It seems if you work for  the Loudon County Sheriff Department then you are above the law.
Disappointed in the legal system
Lenoir City Tennessee 4/23/07

This will be a little long, but relevant at this time.

Anybody want to bet on the outcome of another Aikens trial? Let's revisit. In 2002 a Starsky and Hutch type officer is prowling the interstate looking for "bad guys" to take off the street. A hapless motorist had the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Eddie Witt of Hamilton County passing through our fair county looked suspicious and was stopped. Mr. Witt had about 20gs in his trunk a gun and a knife and a suspended licenses. He had to be a drug dealer right? Wrong. Ultimately two stories of the event emerge. Akins says Witt voluntarily donated nearly 10gs of his money out of the goodness of his heart to the drug fund. Witt says he was threatened with loosing all his money and his car if he didn't donate the 10gs to the drug fund. Who's telling the truth? Should we believe Witt would give away nearly 10gs over three little misdemeanor charges? Strangely enough when Witt shows up with a lawyer to get his money back, the county agrees to give it back plus pay 5gs to Witt's lawyer. Why on earth would the county give back the money and pay his lawyer if everything was on the up and up? Hummm!

By all accounts, the money taken/received from Mr. Witt was properly turned over to the county and nobody put it in their pockets. Well, one deputy did remove an old $500 bill from Witt's money to take home with him but he had to return that too. Akins takes/receives the money. Money is deposited in the drug fund. Checks are written from the drug fund to Aikens and other "deserving" officers. Let see? Who profited from the money?

Two different Loudon County Grand Juries, 24 different people, found enough evidence to indict Mr. Aikens twice, yet both times the Judge through out the case on a technicality. Aikins claims politics by former DA, Scott Mccluen, was the driving force behind the indictments. However according to Witt's attorney, Mccluen would not take the charges to the grand jury so Witt and his lawyer took the charges to the grand jury themselves. Mccluen refuses to handle the case and a special prosecutor is appointed by the state. Now apparently from his political grave, Mccluen has managed to sway the states appeals court to over turn the dismissal.

Mr. Van Shaver, would you include the attached news articles with this post?

Thanks Randal Roare 4/23/07

Driver says: 'I was flat extorted' Man at center of drug-fund controversy wants arresting officers taken off force

By JIM BALLOCH, balloch@knews.com January 10, 2005

SODDY-DAISY, Tenn. - Eddie Witt wishes he had never driven through Loudon County. And probably, so do two Loudon County Sheriff's Department officers, Chief Deputy Tony Aikens and Deputy Paul Curtis. Witt, a disabled Vietnam veteran, says that Aikens coerced him into giving $9,649.25 to the Loudon County Drug Fund after he was charged with three misdemeanor offenses following a traffic stop by Curtis on June 20, 2002. "I was totally honest with them, but they treated me like a dog," said Witt, who gave his account of the events in an interview with the News Sentinel in his Hamilton County home. Witt's nightmare gradually became even worse for the two officers. First, Witt sued, and got all of his money back plus legal fees. And last month, after hearing Witt's story, a Loudon County grand jury indicted both officers for extortion, a felony. They are accused of threatening to seize Witt's car and all of the $19,649.25 in a bank bag in his car if he did not make a "donation" to the county's drug fund.

The officers are not accused of taking the money for themselves. It is undisputed that the money was promptly deposited in the drug fund, which is used to help fund law enforcement anti-drug operations. However, Witt's civil suit alleged that a $500 bill, which as a collector's item is worth more than face value, was taken and replaced with another $500 in smaller bills before the deposit was made. The settlement of the civil lawsuit included Curtis returning the $500 bill to Witt, according to court documents. The issue of the $500 bill is not included in the criminal indictment. Aikens and Curtis have pleaded innocent, demanded a speedy trial and are referring all questions about the case to their lawyers. Sheriff Tim Guider, citing a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation probe of the incident that cleared both officers, has kept the pair on active duty.

Witt's version of the events differs in several key aspects from an account Aikens gave earlier. Witt said he hopes to see Aikens and Curtis convicted and removed from law enforcement, but does not want to see either man go to prison. "I don't want to see them in jail, but they don't deserve to be left in positions of service and trust," he said. "Police are supposed to protect and serve. Well, if you can't trust the police on the road, who can you trust?"

Curtis' lawyer, Craig Garrett of Maryville, said neither officer should face termination or jail. "They've done nothing wrong, so there should be no effect on their careers," said Garrett, who in other cases has represented clients whose property has been seized by police. "And they should not get a criminal conviction out of this."

Witt said he was returning home from Kentucky, where he had spent 62 days with his dying father. To avoid probate, Witt said, his father had given away many of his assets. That, he said, is why he was carrying $19,649.25 in cash in a bank bag and driving a 1986 Lincoln Town Car with Kentucky plates. The $19,649.25 included the rare $500 bill and an old quarter that his dad had given him for good luck. "Well, that didn't work," he said of the quarter. "It sure didn't bring me no good luck that night." Witt said that when he was pulled over he was told his vehicle had been weaving. A check of his driver's license showed it had been suspended in connection with a child support payment issue from a previous relationship. Witt also admits he had a .25 caliber pistol and no handgun carry permit. Several other officers arrived, and Witt was charged with driving on a suspended license and two weapons charges, one involving the pistol, the other a switchblade knife. He said when he was placed in a transport vehicle to be taken to jail, he asked the driver to tell the other officers that there was a money bag containing more than $19,000 in the trunk that needed to be secured. "They never even knew about that bank bag until I told them about it," he said.

After Witt made $6,000 bond, he and his wife, Martha, returned to the sheriff's office to see about getting his property back. He said they went into an office with Aikens. No one else was there, Witt said. "He had $10,000 laid out on the table," Witt said. "He told me that I was going to 'donate' the rest of the money to their drug fund, and he would give me a receipt for that. He said that a drug dog had hit on the car, and he told me that they could take all of the money and the car, if they was so minded, on grounds of suspicion of drugs." Witt said Aikens also told him, falsely, that in Tennessee, it is illegal to carry more than $10,000 in cash.

"You need to consider the source of those statements," said Aikens' attorney, Scott Jones. "I don't think your ordinary citizen is going to have a .25 caliber pistol in his back waistband, a switchblade knife in his pocket and $19,000 for which he can offer no plausible explanation as to where it came from. With multiple charges still pending against him, he is likely to say whatever is in his best interest to get a favorable resolution to those charges." In the warrant charging Witt with the gun offense, Curtis stated he saw Witt remove the pistol from his back waistband and place it under the seat. Witt says the gun was under the seat all along. "If I'd had a gun in my hand, they would've shot me," he said.

No drugs were found in Witt's vehicle. But state law allows money or property suspected of being tied to the drug trade, even if no drug charges are filed, to be seized and held, pending a State Department of Safety hearing. Such a seizure may be avoided by settlement, which must also be reported to the state. The intent of the law is for police agencies to be able to use drug trade assets to help pay for investigating and prosecuting drug crimes. Critics say the law makes it too easy to seize property from citizens with very little evidence of a crime. State officials have told the News Sentinel they have no record of the incident involving Witt.

Witt said he is "dependent on prescribed medication," for a heart condition and related pain. He said he used to drink heavily, has had some minor brushes with the law and has been sober for 10 years. He said he has never been involved in illegal drugs and became very angry at Aikens' suggestion that he was suspected of that. He said he tried to argue with Aikens, but his wife interceded. "She said, 'Come on, let's just get out of here (he) ain't going to give you another penny back,' " he said.

In a News Sentinel story shortly after Witt's civil lawsuit was settled, Aikens said Witt had approached the Loudon County Sheriff's Department and offered to avoid seizure by keeping his car and $10,000 and donating the rest of the money to the drug fund.

"I never made any kind of offer, and I didn't donate anything." Witt said. "I was flat extorted. Aikens already had the deal made up in his mind. It was take the car and $10,000, or take nothing."

Jones said Aikens "negotiated with (Witt) at his behest. I don't think (Aikens) has violated any law that currently exists on the books in Tennessee."

Witt said that when it appeared nothing would come of the TBI investigation, he called his lawyer, Jes Beard of Chattanooga, to help take his case directly to the Loudon County grand jury. "I wouldn't have taken it this far if they hadn't tried to screw me in the first place," Witt said.

After the indictment was issued, Aikens, his lawyer and Guider suggested it was politically motivated by disputes 9th District Attorney General Scott McCluen was having with Aikens and the sheriff's department. McCluen said that is not true, that his office did not participate in Witt's grand jury appearance and that the grand jury directed him to draw up the indictment. Witt said politics had no role in his own decision to press the matter. "I don't care nothing about the politics up there," Witt said. "I don't even know nothing about the politics up there."

McCluen has recused his office from the case and requested appointment of a special prosecutor to handle it. No trial date has been set. The Witts said they hope publicity about the case will make the public more aware of state seizure laws and possibly lead to reform.

"People need to know what (law enforcement officers) can do if they want to," Martha Witt said. "You've got to wonder how many others this has been done to." "And they make you think you can't do anything about it," Eddie Witt added.

I just read your story on Tony Aikens. I don't know the whole story, and everyone is supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. My problem is with the legal system that would go to so much trouble to render this opinion, then just have it dismissed on another technicality. Will this be another case of the statute of limitations running out, or will it be more of that "good ole boy" system"? Is this a case of the legal system purposely dragging its feet, or do the statute of limitations need to be lengthened to accommodate the slowness of rendering an opinion?  Or am I missing the point entirely and there is some other factor that would allow dismissal?

I have heard all sorts of things on the D A, and have a hard time making up my own mind because how do you separate truth from gossip? I do know from experience that the honesty of some working at the courthouse is questionable ( as is most of our officials).

I have to say that in this county it would seem that we are beyond hope of honesty in any form. It sickens me to think that justice is tainted for anyone but the wrong doers and I have to wonder how it all happened.

Just plain disgusted in LC 4/20/07

So........now the Eastern District Court of Criminal Appeals has agreed with former DAG McCluen, and with the State Attorney General, that good-ole-boy Judge Buddy Scott "erred" when he came out of retirement to dismiss Aikens' extortion indictments. (It was the state AG that argued the appeal.)
They don't have McCluen to blame this time. So who do you suppose will be the scapegoat?
Do you suppose we'll be hearing soon about a "vast anti-Aikens conspiracy"?
David Divelbiss 4/20/07

I don't understand, why such a hush hush about the Loudon County Officers wife arrested for child abuse??? We dogged April Bowen time after time for her crime but nothing about Misty Cosner? If your going to talk about someone that stole money and not someone that has done a awful thing to a small child, I think we have issues. This is so serious!! Yea and why wasn't it in the paper? MMMMmmm!!!!  This is so crazy, I don't know the details on the case but I feel sorry for the family of this child and the terrified child. No child deserves this kind of treatment! I don't care what the situation was. In my opinion anyone that hurts a child needs to be behind bars for a long time but I'm sure she will get off just as easy as April did because she is married to a Loudon County Officer. I feel sorrow for her family but not sorry for her, she knew what she was doing!  My prayers go out to the family or families of this child or children and hope they will get the help they need in a situation like this.  Always remember you will get away with the bad things your doing for awhile but eventually you will get yours!
Very Concerned Parent...4/19/07

To Harris,
I think an Arp watch is an excellent idea. I'll volunteer to keep the log if enough people will participate. Email all sightings to nomorecrooks@charter.net. If we get enough, I'll resubmit them here once a week for Shaver to publish. We will just see if he earns his keep ( we already know the answer to that!)

No more crooks 4/18/07

Dear Mel,
  The Knoxville News sentinel said " In addition, the city has scheduled a meeting with a private collection company, Maryville Collection Services, to
see what other efforts could be made to collect the money." Does that sound like anyone is waiting on council approval? (There is a link in the post
below to the full article). You seem to be hanging out at the water cooler with one ear glued to the gossip- or perhaps YOU are the one spreading the misinformation? I DO know what goes on at city hall, and not much of it is good, now that Cook is gone. From all the protesting, I'd say you are probably one of the reasons Debbie decided to go home. Practice what you preach, and do your job. Quit wasting my tax money and my time by complaining and trying to discredit honest people. It does not become you.

knoxnews.com article

Mary 04/17/07

What right have you to say "if you had a job for 30 years no one would run you off"?  You don't know what you would do if you were Mrs. Cook's shoes.  From what I understand her health has not been good.  Sometimes your health will not allow you to fight.  The real problem is NO one should feel like they have to fight.
You said "Maybe there's something to the rumors going around about illegal phone taps, overpaid outside contracts & all the uncollected fines & a bit of abuse of office?
RUMORS are rumors...  Illegal phone taps, That would be the police department you are talking about?  Or is that a Rumor? 
About over paid outside contracts. Even you said that the City Council votes on contracts.
I believe Van Shaver proved that the report about the uncollected fines, was not a true report. I know for a fact that Debbie Cook has never abuse the office not even a little bit.  She gave and gave more then she ever got. 
It's time to put RUMORS to rest.  JUST FACTS and TRUTH.
So stop trying to put rumors in people's minds.

Walter 4/18/07

In response to the question "Why is it that there is NO mention of the Loudon County Deputy's wife getting arrested for child abuse in the News Herald? Because our children are not a priority in this county. They are not developers, animals, or prisoners. If you only knew.

Brooke 4/18/07

Where I worked if you weren't at work you get no pay, and if you were  seen doing other things rather than home sick, you are terminated immediately, no questions asked.   So we the taxpayers of Loudon County are Mr. Arp's employer so therefore he should be terminated immediately with no questions asked.  Come on tax payers it is time to stand up and do something.  

Joanne G. 4/17/07

To Mary
I really don't need to research Lenoir City politics, I know more than I want to already.  A great deal of it I do not appreciate. I will change what I can by voting and trying to enlighten others to what I know.  You need to know that Judge Vann cannot chose Maryville Collections or appoint his "cronies".  City Council has to approve outside contracts.  Why hire Maggie Hunt & not outside?  You have an immediately available, knowlegable clerk who doesn't have to learn a job she already knows. DUH!?! Even City Council sees that.  Just because there's an opening- no law says that you can't promote from within & have to take outside applications.  Maybe you need to find out what's going on.  If I worked at a job for almost 30 years-NOBODY- would run me off until I was ready to go! Maybe there's something to the rumors going around about illegal phone taps, overpaid outside contracts & all the uncollected fines & a bit of abuse of office????

Why is it that there is NO mention of the Loudon County Deputy's wife getting arrested for child abuse in the News Herald?
Just Wondering? Lenoir City 4/17/07

Aikens, Ardin, Hall , Bowan,  Davis,  Wilson & Wilson now Cosner? Attorney T. Scott Jones has stumbled into a gold mine defending sheriff dept. employees and their spouses.

Another one of them. 4/16/07

To Nora, Loudon Convenience Center Customer 4/10/07,

A few days ago I was at the Home Depot in LC. Who do you suppose I saw doing a little shopping? Our honest county mayor, Doyle Arp. Collar up high, hat down low. Why would he be at the Home Depot in the morning, on a week day instead of being at work where we are paying him to be. How big of a thief is Doyle Arp. Apparently he has no problem with taking our money and not doing any work for it. That in my opinion is a thief. Maybe we should set up an Arp watch network to see where the man is while he is taking our money. Is there no way to get rid of him?

Harris 4/16/07

To: Mary 4/12/07
You wrote:
<<<Now let us wait and see if Judge Vann hires his buds for the collection
job or bids it out, as he should.>>>
You didn't have to "wait-and-see" for very long. Here's the Knoxville News-Sentinel story:
<<<In addition, the city has scheduled a meeting with a private collection company, Maryville Collection Services, to see what other efforts could be made to collect the money.>>>
No competitive bidding on this one. If they did that, Terry Vann's buddies at Maryville Collection Services might not get the business (Some other collection service might bid to do it for a lower commission/percentage. They don't want to know about it.
Now.........WHY doesn't this man insist on competitive bidding?:
Dave Divelbiss 4/15/07

We now have an ethics commission. Are the citizens not supposed to make up a portion of this committee? Are we not letting the fox guard the hen house here? How can the mayor and several others on that commission vote on the ethics of another when they have no idea what the word means?
(God help us all).

Charlie  4/15/07

In response to: Nora, Loudon Convenience Center Customer 4/10/07
Speaking of Mayor Arp, You asked:
<<<How is it he is so sick he can't work but four hours a day, but he is healthy enough to be hauling and dumping a truck load of scrap lumber.>>>
You might note that he generally gets sick when he has a court date approaching (because he's broken the law).
Dave Divelbiss 4/15/07

"Right on  Mary".  Debbie Cook should have never been treated the way she was.  But even if that position had been posted the mayor would have put who they would have wanted in anyway.  The only time the people have a say in what goes on in our government is election day..
Don't let them put the City Recorders job as a appointed position.  We don't have a lot to do with the daily works at City Hall but we do on election day. Can we all pull together and get Debbie Cook to run for Mayor?  Lets not let a good and honest person like herself get away. We need her back.  Our City is a wonderful place to live.  LETS KEEP it that way. 
Debbie, if you read this site.  I hope you know how you will be missed by a lot of us.   You did your job and worked hard for us the people.  You have put employee's before yourself many times. The ones that didn't stand behind you at the time you needed them should be a shame.  You know who you are. I'll never forget seeing you give a person on the side of the road money years ago.  You gave and gave.  It's just a real shame how some people forget. Hopefully on election day All will remember.
Debbie, have a wonderful summer. Start this Fall and get ready to run for Mayor.  We need you back PLEASE.  The day of election we will have that party .
George, Lenoir City, TN 4/14/07
In 08
Thank you

To Watching you 4/13/07,

The Adequate Facilities Tax was passed after I left office. I did not have the pleasure to actually vote for it's passage. I obtained my building permit in December. The newly adopted Adequate Facilities Tax did not take effect till January, 1of 07. I was not required to pay the tax in December.

Nice try anyway.

Van Shaver 4/14/07

I have been sitting here reading a lot of blogs, learning a lot about the county I have come to live in.  Not being originally from this state, I have learned a lot about the difference in how people are from one area of the United States to another.  And, how times change!  I grew up in the age of "You do as I say, not as I do!"  And, God forbid, you not have that fear of your parents.  You might have fear, but along with that comes love and respect.  Kids now a days don't have a clue.  That's including my own!  Sometimes I'd like to give them a swift boot in the rear-end!  Where would that get me!?! 
So, what I have to say about Loudon County!  These kids don't have enough entertainment!  Yea, Brookshire made promises to kids about a building a skate park when he became Mayor.  That skate park is nothing but complete horror!  So much trouble lurks there!
 We encourage our kids to spread their horizons, but they are also limited on doing that at times.  Yea, I've done the camping thing, the hiking, the football, all the sports, but when we taught our kids to broaden their interests, it goes beyond these things.  They need more...where is our city pool, where is our local movie theater, where is our local roller skating rink? 
One reason why I have such a huge desire for some of these things is that I know for a fact that underage consumption of alcohol is a major issue here in Loudon County.  I know this because my child has been in trouble for it.  He will have this hanging over his head for life now that he is of legal age, but not of legal drinking age.  Yes, he is at fault for his actions.  But, he also was able to receive this alcohol and that was from a parent that wants to be the friend to her kids and their friends.  An adult that goes on a drunken rampage the morning after her son is arrested for underage consumption.  An adult that intentionally drove her vehicle into a hard working mans vehicle.  An adult that assaults another minor she contributed to.  An adult that sits in a jail cell for 13 days and should be home making dinner for her children.  Not only does this county need more entertainment for the kids, but to rid the role models that contribute to illegal acts. 
Ashamed of my sons acts, but P.O'd at irresponsible adults 4/14/07

To Mel 4/12/07,
I will respond to your comment, as you seem to have missed the point entirely. Maggie Hunt may do a fine job for the city- I do not know her and
my comment had nothing to do with her personally. It had to do with the fact that a judge would try to humiliate another elected official in public, and set out to intimidate and harass her, to get her out of a job she could only be removed from by people who elect her. Debbie Cook served the city faithfully and honestly for many years. The problem was that she would not go along with others that are not honest. You cannot connive with an honest person watching.

If names are needed to put faces to the dishonest, let me be very specific so as not to confuse you again. My opinion is that Mayor Brookshire, Dale
Hurst, Shannon Littleton, Terry Vann, and certain members of city council are the villains in this story.

As to COMPUTER GRIPERS and COMPLAINERS, I have to ask why you are viewing the site yourself and writing letters to complain about my comments if you are any different then I? You obviously need to get involved and do some research on city politics, and know what is REALLY going on.

AS to Maggie Hunt getting the job, I think applications should have been taken, and other people should have been given a chance to apply. THEN if
Maggie Hunt was the most qualified, she certainly should have gotten the job. Now let us wait and see if Judge Vann hires his buds for the collection
job or bids it out, as he should.

Mary 4/12/07

I bet you wont post this one. Mr. Van Shaver is building a new house supposedly for his son in Hardin Estates. I was told that he didn't pay the adequate facilities tax that he voted for when he was a commissioner. The question is if Mr. Van Shaver thought the tax was such a good idea for everybody else, why didn't he have to pay it himself?

Watching you 4/13/07

I would like to comment on your article about LCUB's sewer problems. Granted I do not know much about sewers, but it seems to me that it would have been LCUBs responsibility, just like any other business, to be putting money back into that business to keep things running as they should. Do they not have a responsibility to their ratepayers to provide the best service available, just as any other business would?  From the looks of the audit it appears to me that instead of taking care of their customers, as they should have, they have been using money that should have gone to upkeep of their system, in a power war for private gain.

I think there is something very wrong about the way the city -and county, are run because of all the nepotism involved. First, the mayor has an inside
track with his father-in- law as manager of LCUB. Best friend Shannon Littleton, is assistant manger and some of council sit on the utility board.
Add in the fact that several are developers and it adds up to the customers getting sold out for private gain.

It concerns me greatly that state officials are allowing themselves to be spoon-fed a lunch of bull, especially in light of this audit. Maybe the statute of limitations HAS run out, but surely even they see the dishonestly involved. I have no doubt that we do need help with money to upgrade our utilities, but the money should not come from our pockets to do that upgrade. Developers helped to create the problem and they should be required to help fix it. If that means them having to pay more to build, that should be added to THEIR cost of doing business. If they choose to tack into the price of a home, at least the person buying has the option to not buy, whereas we the customers have no options, concerning utilities. If this slows down development, so what? What is the hurry anyway?

Sam in LC 4/12/07

Mary 4/11/07 asks "Does it surprise anyone that Maggie Hunt got the job of City Recorder?"
My answer is-no it doesn't.....because Maggie Hunt is a real asset to Lenoir City.  She has worked in the Recorder/treasurer's office for quite a while, she's totally capable-knows the job & the people.  She always open to listen to the public, City Department heads, etc.-plus she actually WORKS in that office!!!  There is a good staff in place & I'm sure she will utilize the assets available to her to collect (tax dollars & OVERDUE FINES & COSTS).  The only thing that amazes me is the amount of time COMPUTER GRIPERS have to COMPLAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mel 4/12/07

Does it surprise anyone that Maggie Hunt gets Debbie Cooks position?  I just wonder if Mr. Vann is going to break the law by hiring some of his old
compadres to collect. Is not that job supposed to be put up and bids taken? But of course with a judge, maybe he does not have to follow the rules?

Mary 4/11/07

As if we needed any more evidence than we already have. Saturday our illustrious Mayor and his wife were at the Loudon Convenience Center in his red Chevrolet pickup, yea I saw you, dumping a truck load of construction material in the compactor. I was personally not allowed to dump three 2x4s. Now why is it that he gets special privileges and can dump his construction trash, 2x4s and sheetrock ETC., and the rest of us are told we have to take ours to the landfill and pay to dump. This man makes 75k per year and he wants the tax payers to pay for his demolition disposal? This is just one more example of what contempt he has for the citizens of Loudon County. We've been paying his bills for a quarter century. Has he no shame? How is it he is so sick he can't work but four hours a day, but he is healthy enough to be hauling and dumping a truck load of scrap lumber. Is he lying about his health just to get out of going to work? I guess that is why he fired the last convenience center manager because he wouldn't let him break the rules just because he was the big shot mayor. You Mr. Arp are a disgrace to this county. What a joke.

Nora, Loudon Convenience Center Customer 4/10/07

Mr. Divelbiss said:

Where do y'all suppose they find their employees? They begat them? Almost everyone working for the county is kin in some way. Why doesn't someone deal with the issue of nepotism?

Not kin to anyone 4/10/07

To:  One of them 3/30/07
You wrote the following:
<<<The police/sheriffs departments are just like any other employer in this nation...they have some good employees, some great employees and unfortunately some bad employees. but never the less each one of them will.................>>>
My response:
I know the term "good-ole-boy network" sounds redundant. BUT:
As for these departments being "just like any other employer....", how many employers can you show me that have as many employees as they have, and manage to stay staffed without ever advertising any job vacancies?
I read pretty much every issue of the News Herald.  I can't seem to recall any job opening being advertised by any Loudon County government agency!
For that matter, I cannot recall any Lenoir City job openings being advertised either.
(Heh, heh, heh! Let's get this blog going!)
Where do y'all suppose they find their employees?
David Divelbiss
davedivelbiss@yahoo.com 4/9/07

To embarrassed:

Who does Doyle Arp think he is?

The king of Loudon County.

He must be crazy or the biggest crook the county has ever seen.

My guess would be BOTH apply here...

Why are the commissioners putting up with his stupidity and illegal actions?

Blackmail? Politics? Paybacks? Who cares what the reason is? The fact that they have given him the right to do as he pleases tells me that we need to elect a new commission who know how to say NO, and will vote for what is best for the taxpayers instead of what is best for their political career or Doyle Arp.

I think everybody would be a lot better off if he was never in the office.

Amen brother- and a lot cheaper on the pocketbook as well. Don't you wonder why with the new facilities tax, all the new taxes coming from development AND the property tax last year, they are calling for a new sales tax next election? My guess is that the officials are investing in private development for their own personal gain and using our tax money to do it.

He is a complete embarrassment to the whole county.

I'm in total agreement

How much longer must we tolerate him?

A. until someone gets the nerve to tell where the bodies are buried

B. the county audit spawns an investigation

c. Someone with money gets the nerve to oust his sorry behind

D. He does something so big it cannot be covered up

E. We all go hungry

F. He drops dead

Do not count on the polls doing the job. He is making too many people too much money to loose.

Fed up in LC

Who does Doyle Arp think he is? He must be crazy or the biggest crook the county has ever seen. Why are the commissioners putting up with his stupidity and illegal actions? Those videos show just what kind of idiot he really is. Does he really talk like that or is he just trying to sound like an uneducated bumpkin? I think everybody would be a lot better off if he was never in the office. He is a complete embarrassment to the whole county. How much longer must we tolerate him?

Embarrassed by our mayor 4/4/07

Mr. Divelbiss said: "I suspect Arp is annoyed that Van has the most viewed website in the county. But I submit that as long as it remains relevant and
unafraid to confront the corruption of Loudon County politicos, Arp will not be able to change that - even if the county sets up a dozen websites."

I say:
Maybe one of the reasons that Arp is so bent out of shape is because people LIKE Shaver- instead of him, and even those who do not, will be hard pressed to call him a liar when it comes to his telling of what goes on in Loudon County. Can we say the same for Arp when every word out of his mouth is a lie?

I would love nothing better than to mind my own business and leave them to govern. But for that to happen, someone is going to have to begin governing. All I can see happening at the moment is a little dictator who wants to bleed taxpayers dry, so he can buy loyalty and do favors for his "family" of crooks. My guess is that this little band has invested personally in all the development going on and are raking in the bucks at our expense. But then, that is just my opinion ( but I bet others agree).

We voted in county commission to represent US, not ARP. ARP is supposed to have no power, yet commission seems to cower in his presence. I have seen two people who MAY be trying to represent the people- Gardin and Maples appear to be trying- or at least are not cowed by him. The rest of the bunch either have their own agendas or simply do not care what happens unless it happens to Tellico village. WE need to get a new commission. One that votes on the ISSUE, instead of what favor can be had from the person behind that issue. The issues should be what is best for the PEOPLE WHO VOTED THEM IN, not some stranger from another county who wants something for nothing at our expense.

We also need people calling and writing the governor, representatives and anyone else in state government who will listen. If enough people make a
stink, they have to listen.

The auditors will shortly be done auditing the county. If they do their jobs, there should be enough information concerning procedures to warrant an
investigation. That will only happen if the PEOPLE push them to investigate. We need a totally independent, line by line, FINANCIAL audit of the school system and county government. My guess is we will need a paddy wagon if that is accomplished. But, if people do not ban together and at least stick their necks out far enough to write a letter, or make a phone call, it will be swept under the rug like everything else is. It is good to gripe, but better
to do something about it.

JoAnne Turner 4/2/07

PS. Don't you wonder just what it is that Arp has on commission to control them so?

In response to Mr Divelbiss,
In no way am I defending anyone who commits a crime and in no way should a badge shield a person from proper judicial procedures. I am only saying for those who are honest and truly do there jobs to the best of there ability deserve a bit more respect and not be categorized because of the deeds of past, present or future comrades.


One of them

I know this blog is going to make some people angry but I've just got to share my opinion. Let me first say that I have the greatest respect for honest, hard working law enforcement officers, teachers and school administrators. Over the last few years however it seems that this group of individuals have self elevated themselves to almost hero status. Policemen and educators are certainly very important members of our society needed to fulfill the functions they were hired to do. However none of them were drafted or forced to take the jobs they perform. In fact, locally, in many cases, they probably had to have connections to obtain their jobs.

Most every job has it's down side, and inherent dangers. Police officers are paid to respond to calls. Teachers are paid to teach. They aren't doing it for free. They knew the pay scales when they took the jobs and if they are dissatisfied with the work or the pay they should seek other employment where they would be happier. It would be interesting to see how many applications would be submitted if the sheriff's dept. or the board of education ever advertised position openings.

None of us are irreplaceable. There were policemen and educators long before we got here and there will be more after we are gone. I guess I'm trying to say, it's time to step back and get some perspective. All members of all professions are important to our community and our society. Each is doing their jobs on a daily basis. Some just complain more than others.

Eyeball 4/02/07

"Judicial Diversion" permits disposition of misdemeanors and certain felonies to include probation with the possibility of dismissal and expungment if the defendant successfully complies with the terms of probation. 
This in effect = No jail time...........
More info-  LC 4/02/07

Dear Van-Blog Land,
In response to "One of Them."  I have respect for officers that deserve respect.  I am glad that "some" of them are honest and do the job they do so that I don't have to.  However, lets remember something.  Were officers under a draft when they joined their profession? NO! If an officer complains about being in danger, or having to take wild or crazy calls, I guess its time for a career change.  Its kind of like when liberals whine and complain about soldiers being at war.  Guess all those soldiers didn't know that they might have to do their job which might involve WAR when they voluntarily signed up!  If you took a job as a fishing boat crewman, would you be shocked if you were asked to do some fishing?  People join law enforcement jobs for several reasons, and one of them would be getting into "stuff" as they say.  Please don't come to the public looking for pity because you are in law enforcement.  You took the job because you wanted it, and you continue to stay there, so it must not be that bad. 

I would love to see some of their IQ tests.  Mr. "One of Them", it's as simple as this, our Sheriff does not run his dept. I would hope he would be smart enough to at least put the blame off on his great assistant, Aikens, but there is obviously a reason he can't do this. Wonder why? It is the Sheriffs fault that this blog reads the way it does.  If he would take care of the problems, instead of trying to take care of his buddies, people wouldn't feel the way they do. It's a shame that there is so much distaste against the department but it is their own fault.  I wish the county commission would recognize there are so many problems there and start taking more of a day to day interest in the dept.  How about one big drug and alcohol test of all employees to start!

Just Smiling! 4/02/07

Mayor Arp says this about Van's website:
<<"he is not the Loudon County official web site like he claims on his thang.">>
I've read Van's "thang" many times, and I've never seen him claim such a thing. But I think I know what the problem is.
I suspect Arp is annoyed that Van has the most viewed website in the county.
But I submit that as long as it remains relevant and unafraid to confront the corruption of Loudon County politicos, Arp will not be able to change that - even if the county sets up a dozen websites.

Dave Divelbiss 4/01/07